We typically think of coaches on sports fields, creating plays and encouraging their team members to power through, overcome adversity and win. This guidance and motivation, the very elements that make a coach special, aren’t isolated to basketball courts, hockey rinks and football fields — workplace mentors can have the same effects.
In fact, a coach can do more than lift individual employees or the entire team as a unit. Here are four ways coaching exceeds expectations and makes everyone better:
It’s really difficult for individual employees to stay motivated when they no longer care about their jobs. They might have to go so far as to set up a personal reward system just to keep themselves engaged and, therefore, productive.
But an inspiring coach or team leader can help his or her team members care — and with this sense of responsibility comes a heightened sense of engagement. That’s because employees who care about what they’re doing want to do their jobs well. This level of engagement is what most companies dream of, because tuned-in employees tend to do work that’s better and more efficient overall, improving everyone’s bottom line.
Well-coached employees are more comfortable stepping up and taking control of their destinies. They set their own goals and create their paths to self-improvement and development over time.
The coach occasionally steps in to make sure each employee is on track to complete those goals and self-improvements — the coach may even have to dig to hear everyone’s ideas. But a more engaged, well-guided workforce will feel comfortable both working independently and collaborating when necessary because they have the tools and confidence to do so.
So many companies hire new employees under the guise that the company is working for them and not the other way around. After a few months on the job, most workers realize that sales pitch no longer rings true — no one in upper management is doing anything to improve the life or experience of the workers.
But, by investing in coaching and mentoring, you’ll show your team you are, indeed, there to make their experiences better. An employee who feels their employer cares about them is sure to work harder, spread positivity about the brand and feel supported. It’s easy for employers to do, too: You can show you care by simply listening and relating to their problems or backing up their abilities to clients. A little bit goes a long way.
Knowing the right thing to say as a leader can make a huge difference to your employees. This is especially true if your company is going through departmental changes, or if the industry itself is going through a lull. Your words and advice can be the calm that keeps everyone working hard, despite surrounding chaos.
Imagine, for example, your company has just gone through a massive downsizing. The employees left are glad to have their jobs, but they’ll be scared it’s just the first round of many. It’s up to you to keep them working hard and feeling confident afterward, and saying the right thing could lift everyone up in a time of worry.
If the above four benefits of coaching prove anything, it’s that it’s a valuable, worthwhile practice in which to invest. Your company is more than just a few spreadsheets worth of expenditures, profits, projected growth and potential dangers — it’s a business run by people who need leadership to make them better. And, by learning a bit about coaching, you can be the one to push them forward — and make the whole business better in the process.
Kayla Matthews is a personal development enthusiast and productivity blogger. In addition to writing for the Noomii, Kayla also writes for The Daily Muse, The Chicago Tribune and The Huffington Post.